GOP Politician Uses Polish Slur In Speech Claiming Party Isn't Bigoted
A Minnesota state senator is getting criticized after a speech where he claimed the state’s Republican Party isn’t bigoted ― and included a slur against Polish people in the process.
During a hearing about potential legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to get ID cards and Class D driver’s licenses, Sen. Mark Johnson (R), the Senate Minority Leader, argued that GOP lawmakers had good-faith objections to the bill, according to the Independent.
“There are holes in this bill,” Johnson said, while insisting he wasn’t attacking any particular demographic groups. “We’re not calling groups any names. What we’re saying is we need to protect Minnesotans.”
However, he may have hurt his cause with his next statement.
“Doesn’t matter what your race, your color, your creed, Norwegian, Polack, Somalian, you name it. But folks, we have concerns about this — and yet when we bring those concerns up on this floor, tonight we were called white national racists,” he said.
Minnesota House Minority Leader Mark Johnson (R), while arguing that Republicans aren't bigoted, uses a derogatory term for Polish people: "We are not calling groups any names ... It doesn't matter what your race, color, your creed. Norwegian, Polack, Somali, you name it." pic.twitter.com/9dvlxXOcCn
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) February 23, 2023
For those who might be unaware, “Polack” has been considered a derogatory term for Polish people for decades, and was most famously spouted by Archie Bunker, a bigoted character in the 1970s sitcom “All in the Family.”
In addition, some media have reported that Johnson may have used the word “Somalian” in his speech, though it’s not conclusive. The term “Somalian,” while not necessarily a slur, is incorrect, as the term “Somali” is preferred.
Of course, many Twitter users found it ironic that a GOP politician used a slur in a speech claiming his party isn’t bigoted.
Fellow Minnesota state Sen. Andy Smith (D) said Johnson’s remarks were “telling.”
After using a derogatory term for Polish people, what’s the next word association: Somali, one of the largest groups of color in our state.
— Rep. Andy Smith (@AndySmithMN) February 23, 2023
Others chimed in.
How to declare you're dumber than a Trash Bag without using those words. https://t.co/J9KbJQDQVW
— Charles Adler (@charlesadler) February 23, 2023
He called polish people Polack’s while saying he’s not bigoted.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) February 23, 2023
He doesn't even know Polack is a derogatory term. They're all Archie Bunkers, without the charm.
— Robert Lusetich (@RobertLusetich) February 23, 2023
A conservative trying to show he's open-minded. https://t.co/Z8E6M3cRbR
— Doug Aoki (@Nantanreikan) February 23, 2023
HuffPost reached out to Johnson for comment, but no one immediately responded.